Alexander Cockburn, the editor of CounterPunch, writing in this weekend’s edition, asks the question, Will the US Really Bomb Iran? He says that one has to be foolish to bet that an attack on Iran won’t happen. He recalls an email he sent to Noam Chomsky last week asking him if he was still dubious about the likelihood of a US attack. Here’s Chomsky’s response to Cockburn as it appears today in CounterPunch.
“Yes, I was quite skeptical. Less so over the years. They're desperate. Everything they touch is in ruins. They're even in danger of losing control over Middle Eastern oil -- to China, the topic that's rarely discussed but is on every planner or corporation exec's mind, if they're sane. Iran already has observer status at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization -- from which the US was pointedly excluded. Chinese trade with Saudi Arabia, even military sales, is growing fast. With the Bush administration in danger of losing Shiite Iraq, where most of the oil is (and most Saudi oil in regions with a harshly oppressed Shiite population), they may be in real trouble.
Under these circumstances, they're unpredictable. They might go for broke, and hope they can salvage something from the wreckage. If they do bomb, I suspect it will be accompanied by a ground assault in Khuzestan, near the Gulf, where the oil is (and an Arab population -- there already is an Ahwazi liberation front, probably organized by the CIA, which the US can "defend" from the evil Persians), and then they can bomb the rest of the country to rubble. And show who's boss.”
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